Friday, August 19, 2011

a post about beauty.

You know, when I first started this blog, I was inspired by a quote in the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. For those of you who know the book, you know it’s about a woman’s quest to find that beauty in life, that place, be it in food, love, or your spiritual self. I loved her whole reason for picking up and traveling the world, soaking it in, each and every aspect, and finding her beautiful. So it is funny to me that now, so long after that original post, I am writing yet again about beauty.


But this is a different kind of beauty, not in the world or what’s around me, but rather what is  IN me.

I’m getting to that point in my pregnancy when most days I struggle to find something to wear that is comfortable, appropriate, and doesn’t make me feel like I’m the size of a boat. I know you all understand where I’m coming from. Maternity clothes are frustrating and I am resisting buying any. On top of not wanting to feel like I’m wearing a muu-muu, I can’t stomach spending money on a dress or shirt that I won’t wear next year. I sometimes sit the fence between having that “I’m pregnant and I feel beautiful even if I can’t fit into my clothes that I love” and “I’m pregnant, I miss my waist, and miss being able to wear cute clothes.”

Today I set out in search for a couple pieces of clothing that made me just feel good. And while out shopping, I really got to thinking about beauty, and why we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way or be a certain size or have the perfect body. It is something all women struggle with to some degree, and being pregnant has put it into a different light.

This is the first time in my life that I haven’t been well… “thin.” I hate to use that word, but I’ll be honest, I’ve never struggled with weight, so it is weird to all of the sudden be putting on the pounds. I am not saying that don’t love being pregnant. I am okay with gaining pregnancy weight, and I’m completely enjoying this process and the miracle that is occurring within me.. However, I am not perfect, and I have moments where I feel less than beautiful and insecurities rage.  I now understand a little bit more, how beauty is so outward in our society. And it saddens me.

Pregnancy has given me the opportunity to see that women are OBSESSED with weight. I am asked countless times how much weight I’ve gained, or given comments regarding my “size” or growing belly. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, however I do think its sad that in a such a precious time as pregnancy, the world is still fixated on what we look like.

I think its time to revisit true, Christian, beauty. What our Lord sees beautiful versus what the world sees as beautiful is so different.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7


Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:3

I love the verse from Proverbs simply because it says beauty is fleeting. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have pretty hair, have a nice tan, be skinny, wear nice clothes, blah blah blah….but for what? It goes away at some point. It is temporary. But beauty from the LORD is permanent and forever. They are two totally different types of beauty. Have you ever met one of those women that you are just in awe of how much she is in love with Jesus, she is beautiful because she loves Jesus and you can see it radiating throughout her? I have. And I can tell you they were far more attractive than any supermodel or hollywood celebrity I’ve ever seen a picture of. Beauty from inside, from your spirit is what the Lord loves to see.

My prayer is that women can see what being beautiful is all about. That it is not a number on a scale, clothes, or any outward appearances. Rather, it is a woman with a heart hard after the Lord, seeking Him, and loving Him in all seasons of life, in all sizes of life, and in all ages of life.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4

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